This article focuses on the ability of rural adults to find adequate jobs to help reduce the likelihood that they or their households are poor. Because the individual's participation in work is such a key factor in the 1996 Act and because of the complexities of analyzing work patterns across poor households of different compositions, this research focuses on the labor market outcomes of individuals. We consider rural adults who are adequately employed and those who are underemployed which include the poor in the labor market part-time workers unable to find more hours of work, rural adults actively looking for work, and those who have given up searching for a job (i.e., 'discouraged workers'). This article first documents differences in the prevalence of adequate employment and underemployment in nonmetro and metro areas of the United States. Then, the characteristics of individuals who have improved their labor market status are explored by analyzing (a) transitions from the marginal jobs held by many adults in poor households to adequate employment and (b) transitions from no work to employment. Finally, the implications of changing rural labor markets coupled with welfare reform are discussed, given the empirical results.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
- Economics and Econometrics